ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Electronic Media and Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) Thursday advised all media channels to restrain from discussing a sub-judice matter and refrained them for giving any suggestion and analysis on such an issue.
PEMRA had observed that despite repeated pieces of advice and directives, some talk shows anchors, newspapers and current affairs satellite TV channels were continuously discussing sub-judice matters which was a sheer violation of Electronic Media (Programme & Advertisement) Code of Conduct, 2015, a press release said.
PEMRA also referred the apex court judgments passed on this count including the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Human Rights case number 39216-G of 2018 in the matter, “Slackness in the progress of pending inquiries relating to fake bank accounts and Suo Moto case number 28 of 2018 regarding discussion in television talk show with regard to a sub-judice matter dated 12.09.2018”.
The media regulatory authority also noted that a specific complaint in that regard had also been received by the PEMRA from Senator Mustafa Nawaz Kokhar, Spokesperson to the Chairman, Pakistan People’s Party regarding various talk shows conducted by different media channels and anchors, violating the above-mentioned court orders.
Reiterating its resolve for implementing provisions of Electronic Media (Programme & Advertisement) Code of Conduct, 2015 in true letter and spirit, PEMRA said “All the news and current affairs channels are obliged to ensure that any discussion on a matter which is sub-judice may be aired but only to the extent that it is to provide information to the public which is objective in nature and not subjective.”
“No content including commentary, opinions or suggestions about the potential fate of such sub-judice matter which tends to prejudice the determination by a court, tribunal, shall be aired,” the body added. The PEMRA also advised the media houses for fair and correct use of the contents which were extracted from court proceedings, police records, and other sources. No news or discussion should be aired which was likely to jeopardize ongoing inquiries, investigations or trials.
The media regulatory body also directed the news channels to strictly adhere to the provisions of Electronic Media (Programmes and Advertisements) Code of Conduct, 2015 in general and specifically those relevant to news or discussions or comments on judiciary as well as on sub-judice matters, such as Clause 3(1)(j), 4(3), 4(6), 4(10), 5 and 17 of Electronic Code of Conduct, 2015.
In case of non-compliance with above-mentioned directions, the Authority shall be constrained to initiate legal action against such violators under Section 29, 30 and 33 of PEMRA Ordinance 2002 as amended by PEMRA (Amendment) Act 2007 and report all such cases to the Supreme Court of Pakistan for initiating contempt proceedings against the violators.